CHANGING TALON FRONT-DIFFERENTIAL SEALS
Honda’s Talon SxS has been a hit since its release over a year ago. The chassis design and powerplant are first-rate, and Honda’s record for reliability has been upheld—well, almost. Our test unit has one minor problem (and we’ve heard other reports about this as well)—the driver’s-side front-differential seal has a small seeping leak. It’s not that all of the diff fluid is going to run out and leave you stranded; the leak is actually minor, but the fact that dirt collects on that fluid and quickly builds up makes everything look worse than it is. Since we drive our Talon into remote places, such as the Mojave Desert and Baja, we wanted it fixed and working perfectly. We ordered a replacement seal from the dealer and put it in ourselves. Here’s how easy changing Talon front-differential seals is.
Step one: Seperate the lower A-arm from the knuckle. We used a 30mm socket to loosen the axle nut and slide the axle out of the hub. This allowed us to yank the axle from the differential. It took three yanks while turning the axle to get it to pop out.
Step two: After cleaning the side of the differential case with rags to get most of the dirt out of the way, we used a small tire iron as a pry bar and popped out the seal.
Step three: It doesn’t hurt to clean around the diff housing even more before reinstalling the new seal. Honda’s seal is different from most, so make sure you note which direction your old one comes out and set the new one in the same direction. We found a piece of plastic pipe that was the same diameter as the outer lip of the seal to help tap it back in.
Step four: Reinstall the axle, brake and suspension components in reverse order, and then top off the differential fluid. Honda recommends using an SAE Hypoid 80W-90 gear oil. On this unit, the fill hole is big and doubles as the site hole, so you easily know when it’s full. If you are changing the fluid at this time, it takes 13.4 ounces to fill it back up.
See UTV Action’s long term Honda Talon test here: https://utvactionmag.com/honda-talon-1000r-long-term-test/
See helpful tools for UTV service here: https://www.harborfreight.com/